Oct 21, 2009

I'm guest blogger at Mrs B's

Several weeks ago Mrs B from Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom, asked me to be a guest blogger for her on a special blog she was putting together. I was delighted and very honoured to be asked to contribute over on her site's 31 Days of Halloween.. It's a truly amazing blog and I do love to visit. You can check out my post over there and all the wonderful things Mrs B shares, over at Guest Blogger: 3 Days of Halloween.

Oct 20, 2009

Rise and Shine

I got yanked out of a peaceful slumber this morning by an alarm set 20 minutes to early..uh huh 20 minutes can make all the difference to my abilities at remaining sane while uncurling myself to the world, but also by an alarm whose dial had been bumped to ear deafening proportions! I did take comfort in the fact that the culprit was also left with heart palpations after being propelled out of bed by what seemed to be an ejector mattress. It was amusing, very amusing and while I am not one to shriek revenge, sometimes payback can be a tiny bit sweet...
Since I was awake and filled with mirth at 5.30am, I decided to put the day to good use. By 9am, children were fed and packed off to school, several battles with a dragon had been fought in Castle Age *insert suitable shamed face* yes on Facebook (justification-I was eating breakfast at the time), two loads of laundry were done and flapping in the breeze, and a cup with yeast was bubbling on the bench ready for the days bread, which Dh said had to many seeds attached to it last time pffft - today I put the decoration on the inside he doesn't seem to notice them then.
I also got around to making the toasted muesli I posted about last week. I really enjoy making my own... knowing what's in it and mores to the point, I know what's not in it! It is like reading an industrial chemists handbook when looking at the contents of some packet food at the supermarket., some of those words I can't pronounce never mind know what they, and we as a nation eat this stuff.
For sometime now, about a year, I have been having stomach problems. Mainly some pain and nausea, I succumbed and went to a Dr who after numerous tests and ultra sounds could find nothing, he wanted to treat it as an ulcer with no proof that it was..go figure, so it had to be what was going in. It has been some what better if I do not eat too much processed food, I could be barking up the wrong tree but for now it's working for me along with some probotics.
Making my own bread, muesli, yoghurt etc is also about making good choices for my family and for the environment, and while I am just one person, I do like to think I am making a difference in some small way.
I have posted the recipe for this muesli over on The Witches Kitchen

Oct 19, 2009

Total Weirdness

The weekend has been a bit of a hit and miss affair, seriously weird in fact. There hasn't been any of the wonderful domestic and pre nuptial bliss one would expect after a mere 4 weeks post marriage. I think we need to put it down to me still not feeling 100% phiscally well, the build up to it all the wedding preperations, and normality kicking in with my Dh back being back in uniform after a months leave all the while feeling like he hasn't had a break. We decided around lunch time to take a few deep breaths and stop butting heads and take a minute to re group, funnily it worked..yes I can be a slow learner.

So with the children banished on their bikes to far off places, more likely under a tree in the local park, we decided to go out into the garden. I walk very slowly around getting D into the garden, he is not a gardener, doe's not have green thumbs and cringes at the very mention of it.. however today we pulled down all the old sweet peas and the trellis it was on( another pleasant surprise was his making of said trellis) and erected some rattan type fency stuff.. pure cosmetics, the grey slate looking fence is just plain butt ugly. I plain to grow some beautiful big summery sunflowers there. I really wish I could grow vegetables in this ground as well as I can some flowers! I used to use old ammunition boxes as veg planters back East and I grew beans, and English spinach in them, over here narda, diddly squat grew and I refuse to pour more money into the garden beds, as we have no idea how long we will be here, and every time I tried since being here it failed. You really need a lot of compost, it you move back the mulch it is pure sand.. like on the beach sand.. Miss C gets bored and moves back the mulch and makes sand castles in it, no seriously, it's true. All these houses are built on left over sand dunes, it is an old WWII ordinance site..
One more try though, this time I am going to get a couple of old deep tubs and put a couple of tomatoes in, if they fail to grow I shall hang up my green thumb protectors until we get to a place, out of the hot winds and arid sand.. *smiles* someone suggested chili plants... and I may just take her up on the idea, thanks Aeris

Oct 16, 2009

Balmy Spring Days

I was blown away by the day here today.. 30c the sky was pristine blue and cloudless.. and a wonderfully warm wind blowing in from the East, *smiling* made all my witchy bits tingle - and I got taken to lunch, what a treat. My DH managed to get off base early to take me to lunch. It was such a treat and the first time we have had together alone since we got married/hand fasted mid September, a real date. We don't eat out often so it was easy today to say let's go. We went to an old pub owned by an old bloke from Liverpool, I drank genuine English scrumpy on the veranda, before eating fresh snapper and prawns with garlic, so yummy. The company was wonderful and the view of the gum trees and lake couldn't have been more picturesque.
Afterwards it was back to business so to speak, and that was heading to my fav little shop. The Bread Making Shop for bread flour, molasses, oats, thread coconut and nuts . Tomorrow I will be making home made muesli.. much better than store bought - no chemicals nor additives and oh so tasty. If I get a spare minute I will post it on The Witches Kitchen.

Oct 15, 2009

Changes in the Wind

I have been thinking for a few days about changing Hedge and Hearth.. Not because I have out grown her, well maybe just a little, but because things have changed since 2007. When I created Hedge and Hearth, the feel of the site was where I was at, at the time. I was living in the rural areas of greater Melbourne, Victoria. Amazingly fragrant gums bordered our yard, whispering pines kept me company as I walked the quiet shores of Western Port Bay and an array of the most wonderful birds were my companions in the hedges and trees around our house.. but almost a year to the day, we left that all for a new life and one that changed beyond our comprehension when we arrived in the coastal area of Western Australia.
I now live in a very dry coastal area, where growing even a small veg patch is near impossible and in the suburbs can you believe, on what was an old RAF bombing range..well at times I can't... TV Antennas and tiled roofs dot my view, not a bird song could be heard when I first moved here, truly a pagan in the city - but on the up side we are a scant kilometre from the Indian Ocean, the fresh breeze of the Fremantle Doctor cools the air every afternoon, the sky on a fine day is something to be remembered, the stars so close at night you could almost reach out and touch them, and over the last year I have had butterflies and feathered friends visit, two pigeons and two Willy Wagtails, they feature strongly in the myths and legends of the indigenous people here. I was so excited to see them drinking out of my water fountain, and they all come on a daily basis now. I digress though.
Because of the changes - leaving the fertile and lush state I loved and moving across the continent to a Coastal area, becoming a full time step mum again after 11 years to two children, getting married and trying to lead a more positive, focused and clean and green living life, it has made me want to *lighten and brighten* Hedge and Hearth.
I am thinking also about changing its name and moving it next door. The only thing holding me back are those people who come to read.. I would hate to lose you in the move, so I would love to know what you think about a new look and a new name?
Thank you all for coming to read and for the emails sent privately asking after the children since there mum passed on, and all the well wishes for my hand fasting and wedding..

Bright Blessings to you.

Something New

I feel there is change a foot, so Butterflies and Breezes has been created, I hope it is some where that will grow.

Oct 14, 2009

Bubbling Brews & Clean Loo's

It's only Wednesday and I feel like I have done a full week. Derek who had a months leave from the Navy for the wedding and the 'honeymoon/couple of days away' that didn't happen, is now back on board as of Monday, fortunately he is home at nights. Miss C and Master R went back to school yesterday after there two weeks of school holidays. So as you can imagine the house is very, very quiet. I do love to have them home, but I also enjoy that time to really focus on catching up with those things, that tend to not get 100% attention when there is a full house.
Monday the kids were still here so it was a little more relaxed, however yesterday I went into full blown spring clean mode. All the bedding was washed, bathrooms and toilets scrubbed with a little extra gusto, floors vacuumed and mopped, everything dusted and the brass polished, all my potted plants made it outside for a gentle hosing and feed, and while it was a longish day I so enjoyed it. There is little I enjoy more than making my house a home, doing the little extra things that make my family comfortable and my home a sacred place.
As silly as it may sound to some folk, when I cook for my family and friends in my kitchen, it is empowered with love, thought and purpose. Whether it be something as simple as crackers and cheese or baking bread or cooking an evening meal, it is important to me that it is not only nutritious, made from scratch or as close to that as possible but something I have done with a joyful heart. Today was equally as industrious as yesterday, this time however it was within the kitchen, our hearth, the hub of our home.
Firstly I made fruit and nut bread, it is great for toast in the morning, the kids love it buttered when they get home from school, so two loaves where made to go into the freezer..
I have put the recipe here on The Witches Kitchen These breads I made into little flower pot bread and used them for our wedding favours.. Guests so appreciated that they were home made.
Keeping up with all things fermenting, and the fact that I am fascinated with the whole wild yeast thing, I have tried my hand at ginger beer, thanks to Rhonda over at Down To Earth, and today I bottled my first batch.. *laughing* I have been to check it several times in the last few hours, expecting something but alas nothing.. a cook should never watch a boiling pot, its going to be days before this luscious brew starts popping corks.. and I can't wait taste it.
P/s I added a few more wedding/hand fasting pics to the post below.

Oct 10, 2009

My Handfasting & Wedding

Well, the best laid plans of mice and men went horribly astray with one thing or other, so a day or two has slipped past since I said I was going to share some hand fasting photos with you.. We didn't have a photographer, we used little disposable cameras for the guests and a few digital cameras. Some of the photos off the disposables were hilarious, those funny little moments only your nearest and dearest type folk would snap a shot of... you truly can go off some people...*smiles* there was also an interesting assortment, of headless people, thumbs and other various extremities. Not to mention a few photos to prove what is really worn under kilts!
I had to sort through them all and then re size them, and then there was the drama of where to put them..straight into this post or over to flickr with a widget.. dilemmas.
Our day was perfect, there was the moment akin to terror when stepping through the door to see everyone steering at me, add the whirr of auto wind on some cameras belonging to the back yard papparazzi, it had a couple of people comment that I looked like I would either faint or bolt. Not warm fuzzies for a person who dislikes cameras as much as she dislikes being the centre of attention. Then 15 minutes into the rite, a genuine panicked whisper "Do you have the rings?" my reply " no, dont you?" and no he didn't, sooooooo there was a rush for the son's to go in search of said gold bands... Thank the Goddess we were not but a two second run from the house *laughing* that didn't happen in the rehearsal!
Neither Derek nor I are not fond of huge crowds or lots of fuss, so we invited a few folks who are close to us and opted to have the ceremony in the sacred space of our back yard here at home.
The yard was pretty as all the flowers I had planted all came into bloom the week leading up to the wedding. Each of the yards corners where marked with incense for air, burning torches for fire, a bird bath for water and a beautiful fock for earth.. a circle was cast of pine cones, gum nuts, rose and lavender.
We had the most beautiful pagan, witchy woman celebrant who is just amazing... she calmed my nerves before the day and on the day.. and her oneness with nature just made the ceremony that little bit more special... I was also very blessed to have my bouquet made by another lovely pagan woman, her knowledge and insight into all things green not to mention her eye for detail had me carrying the most perfect bouquet..with jasmine, orchids, green roses, gum nuts and ivy.. I really love ivy and gum nuts and the latter comes from a very deep connection with Gum trees.. With a lot of help from Tamara our celebrant we used our own vows for the wedding part of our ceremony.. I was going to post them here, but felt that they were a little personal and precious to us to share on the world wide web..
I'm at risk of rambling here, so will I park my cursor here and let you look at a few piccies.. there is no order to them, as much as I tried we shall thank Flickr for that. If you click the little photostream box, it will take you to the larger version of the photo.

Oct 6, 2009

Deep ruts and Inspiration

There are a couple of wonderful woman, who have niche's on Blogger and Blogspot and I am so grateful to both of them. They probably have no idea I feel this way.
While I have not been blogging myself, I always try and come to take a peek at theirs. Docwitch at Dark Side of The Broom can always make me smile with her musings along with Rhonda at Down To Earth who has such a down to earth outlook on life, have been such an inspiration to me, more so the last few days. You see I have come to realise that I have been a serious rut over the last few months or so, and to spite my beautiful hand fasting/exchanging of wedding vows three weeks ago, I have been feeling like I am not coping to well with life lately and getting a little down - Part of the reason I have not been blogging to much I guess...not to mention adding all the organising for the nuptials. Over the last few days I have felt so lifted in spirit by reading these to wonderful blogs, that I again feel the muses stirring. So thank you docwitch and Rhonda..
My big son flew in from New Zealand for our special day on Sept 19th, it was such a blessing to see him, I miss him a great deal, the last time we seen each other was July last year, so we tried very hard to make the most of the two weeks he was with us. It was so good to see all four kids, big and little get on so well as it was the first time my son had meet the two younger ones... they seemed kind of excited to have a new big brother. It was sad Samantha couldn't have come with him from New Zealand this trip, but as my 13 month old grandson is still not well often with FPIES we are all hoping by next year he can come for a visit his Nana and new Step-Granddie with his parents.
Tomorrow, I will post some snippets and photos of the hand fasting ceremony, it was beautiful with a strong Celtic feel to it.. not surprising since my man was Edinburgh born and bred.
Well I am off to toss a few veg's around in the kitchen.. it's a beautiful spring evening and I think we might just eat outdoors.